Wisconsin, Alabama asert their dominance

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 1 2011 11:05 p.m. MDT

Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson scrambles against Nebraska defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler (55) during the first half of the Big Ten home opener NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, in Madison, Wis. At right is Wisconsin's Josh Oglesby. Wisconsin beat Nebraska 48-17.

Andy Manis, Associated Press

Wisconsin and Alabama turned their conference showdowns into mismatches.

Behind Russell Wilson, the seventh-ranked Badgers erased an early deficit and pounded eighth-ranked Nebraska 48-17 in the Cornhuskers' first Big Ten game Saturday night.

Trent Richardson was the star for No. 3 Alabama, which knocked Florida quarterback John Brantley out of the game late in the first half and routed the 12th-ranked Gators 38-10.

On the first Saturday of October, the national championship race got some clarity with the teams at the top of the rankings asserting their dominance.

Wilson accounted for three touchdowns and has emerged as a Heisman Trophy contender. Same goes for Richardson, who set a career best with 181 yards rushing.

The Badgers, the defending Big Ten champions, could see Nebraska again at the conference title game.

The Crimson Tide and Gators could also be paired up down the road in a league championship game.

But the gap between the Badgers and Tide and the Huskers and Gators was huge Saturday.

No. 1 LSU 35, Kentucky 7

BATON ROUGE, La. — Jordan Jefferson scored on his first play back from suspension and cornerback Tyrann Mathieu scored after setting an LSU record for career forced fumbles.

Jefferson was reinstated this week after a grand jury reduced his charges in connection with a bar fight to a misdemeanor. Jarrett Lee remained the starter at quarterback.

LSU coach Les Miles inserted Jefferson on an early fourth-and-goal, and Jefferson dove over the goal line to give the Tigers (5-0, 2-0 SEC) a 7-0 lead. Lee later hit Odell Beckham Jr. for a 51-yard score, their second TD connection of more than 50 yards in two games.

Kentucky (2-3, 0-2) did not threaten to score until LSU led 35-0.

No. 2 Oklahoma 62, Ball State 6

NORMAN, Okla. — Landry Jones threw for 425 yards and five touchdowns, Tony Jefferson fueled a second-quarter scoring surge with three interceptions and Oklahoma geared up for Texas.

Jones had touchdown passes of 64 yards to Ryan Broyles and 56 yards to Jaz Reynolds a minute apart in the third quarter during the second high-volume scoring stretch for the Sooners (4-0).

Ball State (3-2) didn't stand much of a chance after recovering an onside kick to open the game, then going three-and-out. Jefferson stopped three straight Cardinal drives with picks midway through the second quarter.

No. 3 Alabama 38, No. 12 Florida 10

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Trent Richardson ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, breaking tackles and carrying defenders along the way, and Alabama rolled in an early season matchup of Southeastern Conference heavyweights.

Richardson finished with his fourth consecutive 100-yard game, and the latest one should solidify his position as one the Heisman Trophy front-runners.

With Richardson leading the way, the Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) extended its recent dominance in the series. Alabama has outscored the Gators (4-1, 2-1) 101-29 in three wins in as many seasons.

The latest one was over by halftime.

Florida struck first, getting a 65-yard touchdown pass from John Brantley to Andre Debose. It was one of few highlights for the Gators, who couldn't run, couldn't stop the run and lost Brantley to a right leg injury late in the second quarter.

No. 4 Boise State 30, Nevada 10

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